Welcome to the first post in my new series, Sunday Spotlight, featuring music artists!
One of the greatest joys in my life is supporting fellow artists. And, I know from experience that often singer/songwriters/musicians don’t have the time or energy to create a blog. Therefore, I have opened my blog to guest posts from music artists for a Sunday Spotlight.
Today, I’m thrilled to welcome Mark Herndon, drummer with the supergroup, Alabama!
Mark has lots to share AND he has a brand new book release.
Thank you, Jan, for giving me a platform to talk about my work. I am super happy about my new book release, The High Road – Memories From a Long Trip.
As the book cover says, these are memories from a long trip. I played drums for the group, Alabama for almost thirty years. But that was a second career for me. I also dreamed of being a pilot. I’m one of those lucky guys that got to have both of my dreams come true.
One of the main things that inspired me to write this book was my father. I was always very curious about things that he did in his life, but he played his cards very close to his chest and didn’t share much. He was a military man and he was trained to do that plus people of that generation didn’t talk too much about themselves. I was never able to coax him to share his stories with me. So, I looked around one day and realized that I had a collection of stories from my own life, which was a little bit on the unusual side, compared to the average folks.
When my daughter became an adult, I started thinking that history was repeating itself like it did with me and my dad, and that maybe someday she’d want to share my stories with her kids. That was when I got serious about telling them. I started typing that first story, and by the time I was two or three paragraphs into it, I realized I was entertaining myself. Also, I want to say that I didn’t start my book at the beginning of the story. I jump into the middle around 1985 or 1986.
There’s a lot in the book that you have to read between the lines because either I had to write it that way, or wanted to write it that way. This is not a “tell all.” It’s a “tell almost.” And I have to thank my wife for that. We originally hired a Hollywood show business type publicity firm that put an enormous amount of pressure on me to write more dirt, because dirt sells. But, my wife was adamant about not doing that. She knew I wasn’t that kind of person, and it was important to stay true to myself. I’m glad I did!
As I said earlier, I am just one of those lucky guys that got to do what I wanted to in life. Of course, I had to do the work. I had to study and I had to learn, but I have managed to enjoy two completely different careers.
- What drives a man to spend 26 years performing night after night?
- How can he persevere through a stifling tour bus, bad food, strange women, flared tempers, a plane nearly blown from the sky?
- Just how did that troubled military brat with a dream claw his way from dirt-floor dive-bar shows to the world’s biggest stages?
Aviator, author, and Country Music Hall of Fame drummer Mark Herndon lived that dream with one of the most popular and celebrated bands of all time. He learned some hard lessons about people and life, the music industry, the accolades and awards, how easy it is to lose it all . . . and how hard it is to survive, to embrace sobriety, to live even one more day.
Herndon’s poignant memoir offers a tale at once cautionary and inspirational, delightful and heartbreaking, funny yet deeply personal. From innocence to rebellion to acceptance, can a man still flourish when the spotlight dims? Are true forgiveness, redemption, and serenity even possible when the powerful say everything you achieved somehow doesn’t even count? That you’re not who you and everyone who matters thought you were?
Mark Herndon refuses to slow down. So look back, look ahead, and join him on the trip.
He’s taking The High Road.
Legendary Country Music Hall of Fame drummer Mark Herndon yearned to fly jets as a military brat, then discovered the dream of playing drums, vowing to come back one day and perform at the very place where he once had to stand outside just to hear. Along the way, he loved and lost and made plenty of mistakes, persevering to achieve all that he imagined before having so much taken away. After decades with one of the most celebrated bands of all time, he still lives his dreams, playing, producing, flying, and now writing with keen observations about life and living in the spotlight.
And now, Mark is managing, and playing drums for his beautiful wife, Leah Seawright in her band. So, the road goes on and Mark is looking ahead! They have new music coming, and I will happily showcase it here once the record is released!
Thank you, Mark for gracing my blog site and I wish you and Leah well with all your endeavors!
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PLEASE NOTE! When you purchase “The High Road” from Mark’s website, you will receive an autographed copy! https://www.markherndon.com/